Summer in Florence for kids!
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Summer in Florence for kids!

Florence, like any inland Italian city, is hot and sticky in the summer, and the usual fun activities for kids visiting with their families-like climbing the cupola, making their way up to Piazzale Michelangelo to survey the city from high-are out of the question in the midday heat.

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Thu 16 Jul 2009 12:00 AM

Florence, like any inland
Italian city, is hot and sticky in the summer, and the usual fun activities for
kids visiting with their families-like climbing the cupola, making their way up
to Piazzale Michelangelo to survey the city from high-are out of the question
in the midday heat. Local children are either at the beach, in the mountains or
in one of the city’s various swimming pools (see the list on page 7). Do not
despair: there are plenty of opportunities for kids to have a fun and
educational experience in Florence and around Tuscany this summer.
Following is a list of museums, theme parks, workshops and more guaranteed to
keep the kiddies happy and entertained.

 

 

FLORENCE

PALAZZO STROZZI

Piazza Strozzi

Tel. 055/2776461

www.palazzostrozzi.org

 

Find regularly scheduled English-language workshops for kids during current shows (see the current Event listings for details) as well as special ‘passports’ to the city for families and other kid-friendly activites in both English and Italian. A must stop for any local or visiting family in the summer!

 

 

MUSEO DEI RAGAZZI (Children’s Museum)

Palazzo Vecchio

Tel. 055/2768224

www.palazzovecchio-museoragazzi.it

 

Children can explore parts of the Palazzo Vecchio,
play with Galilean telescopes and dress up as Medici progeny at this Renaissance-themed
fun house.

 

 

MUSEO FIORENTINO DI PREISTORIA

(Prehistory
Museum)

Via Sant’ Egidio 21

Tel. 055/295159

www.museofiorentinopreistoria.it

Would-be cave dwellers can explore this collection
filled with artifacts from various prehistoric eras.

 

 

MUSEO DELLA SCIENZA

(History of Science Museum)

Piazza dei Giudici 1

Tel. 055/265311, www.imss.fi.it

Interactive exhibits include demonstrations of
functioning antique instruments. Kids will have a ball in the prisms and
optical games room, as well as with the wide variety of machines, models and
mechanisms from centuries past.

 

 

LA SPECOLA

Via Romana 17

Tel. 055/2288251

www.specola.unifi.it

Not for the faint of heart, this
zoological museum is full of stuffed and otherwise preserved animals and
insects. The smaller tots will want to avoid the rooms with gory, life-size
anatomical models of humans.

 

 

MUSEO ARCHEOLOGICO

Via della Colonna 38

Tel. 055/23575, www.comune.firenze.it/soggetti/sat/didattica/museo.html

Etruscan jewellery, funerary
monuments, urns and bronzes dating as far back as the fifth century BC make
this a treat for any future archaeologist. Don’t miss the new room dedicated to
Native American artefacts.

 

 

TREE EXPERIENCE PARK ADVENTURE

Via di Vincigliata, Fiesole

(5km from Florence)

Tel. 055/3984036

www.treeexperience.it

Kids will have a blast at this
ropes course/adventure park located high above the city of Florence. Swing through the trees, race over
bridges, jumps and nets or relax on the wooden platforms situated between each
suspended pathway. Competitiveness and physical stress experienced in a context
of fun. The paths unwind from in between the trees and from these one can
attempt anything from bridges, jumps and nets; however there is even the odd
chance to relax on the wooden platforms situated between each suspended
pathway. Be sure to check out the new soft-air shooting range complete with
prizes for the best shooters.

 

 

OUT OF TOWN

 

LEONARDO MUSEUM IN VINCI

Castello dei Conti Guidi, via Montalbano

Tel. 0571/56055

www.museoleonardo.com

The whole family will delight in
this museum dedicated to Leonardo’s fantastic machines and instruments. A short
drive up the hill through olive groves brings you to the stone farmhouse where
he was born. 

 

 

GIARDINO ZOOLOGICO

Via
Pieve a Celle 160, Pistoia

Tel. 0573/911219

www.zoodipistoia.it

Visitors to the Pistoia
zoo can get up close and personal with 600 animals, including 65 species of
mammals, 40 species of birds and 30 of reptiles.

 

 

PINOCCHIO PARK

Via S. Gennaro 3, Collodi (near Pescia)

Tel. 0572/429342

www.pinocchio.it/eng/pinocchio

Check out art exhibitions, study Pinocchio’s
genealogy, ride merry-go-rounds and visit the mechanical theatre at this park dedicated
entirely to Tuscany’s
most famous wooden wonder. The park also offers interactive activities
including face painting, masks, decorations and storytelling with puppets.

 

 

CAVALLINO MATTO AMUSEMENT PARK

Via Po 1, Marina di Castagneto

(near Livorno)

Tel. 0565/745720

www.cavallinomatto.it

Il Cavallino Matto is Tuscany’s largest amusement park, boasting
four roller coasters including a water canon and a safari ride. The park is
located near the Marina di Donoratico beach on the Tyrrhenian
Sea. Live performances by acrobats performed daily.

 

 

ACQUA VILLAGE CECINA

Via Tevere 25

Tel. 0586/622539

www.acquavillage.it

 

 

ACQUA VILLAGE FOLLONICA

Via Sanzio – Zona Cappannino

Tel. 0566/263735

www.acquavillage.it

These two water parks located in southern Tuscany boast a variety
of pools, water chutes and slides, in addition to a ‘Magic Lagoon’ complete
with Jacuzzi and a wave pool. Activities for every age group. Grounds include a
snack bar, mini golf, park and shopping center.

 

 

CITTÀ DEL TUFO ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK

Sorano (near Grosseto)

Tel. 0564/633023

www.parchideglietruschi.it

Crawling through ancient tunnels and tombs left by the
Etruscans makes for an Indiana
Jones-style adventure in this park divided into three areas: Sovana, Sorano and
Vitozo. Among the highlights are the necropolis area with its many elaborate
tombs, and the most important cliff settlements in Italy, 200 rocky caves in the Rocca
di Vitozza.

 

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